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translation by Gerda Johannsen.
Introduction

I.

Three times since the First World War the Sudeten German national group (which is more numerous than the Norwegian nation and almost as numerous as the Danish and Finnish nations) became an object of international policy, without obtaining a satisfactory solution of the Sudeten German problem. This problem was not invented by Hitler and Henlein. It represents a real problem of space and population. The reasons for this fact are various, but they may be traced back to some fundamental data of Central European history and politics.

Until the 18th century the nations in Central Europe were held together by the dynastic idea as well as by a territorial, as distinct from national, conception of the State. Several wars against the Turks hereby played an essential part as co-operating Western defensive actions. Rationalism and new nationalistic ideas, as transmitted to the European nations by the French Revolution, the replacement of the hierarchic social order by a middle class society, and, in particular, the beginning of a new national consciousness, as formulated by Johann Gottfried Herder and imported to the nations of Central Europe, produced a powerful ferment and movement amongst these nations.1

Since the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which offered tolerable political and economic conditions for the various nations and national groups until 1918, this special area of Central Europe has been unable to find a lasting peace. It became one of the neuralgic zones of the continent which demanded the healing art of great and statesmanlike judgement and intelligence. Unfortunately there has not been a cure to this day. Instead of learning something from the different attempts at a solution since 1918, new blunders concerning Central European politics, blunders of great consequences, were made after the Second World War. The Czech-German problem was of special importance. The Czech politicians Thomas Masaryk and Eduard Beneš contributed essentially to the downfall of Austria-Hungary. Referring to President Woodrow Wilson's principles of self-determination and to the historical and constitutional law of Bohemia, they both pursued the foundation of a "Czechoslovak Republic", without succeeding in the creation of a true Czech National State since the non-Czech parts of the population amounted to more than 50% of the entire population. To these national minorities and especially to the 3½ million Sudeten Germans the right of self-determination was refused, even though Austria-Hungary had been destroyed and the Czechoslovak Republic had been established with the help of this right. The creators of the first Czechoslovak Republic were rooted in the nationalism of the 19th century. It was for this reason that they were unable to solve the problem created by the existence of several nations in one body politic. All suggestions for a lasting solution which were made between 1918 and 1938 fell short of expectations, because the Czechs strove for a national state while denying national rights to the nations that composed it.

It was to be foreseen that the expulsion of the Sudeten German group could never definitely settle this Central European question. The idea of the expulsion had its source in the extremely chauvinistic nationalism of which Dr. Beneš was the principal exponent. Nationalism, as an acceptable European ideology, is disproved by this extreme attempt at a solution which shows that it cannot solve the existing problems of space and population, but can only aggravate them greatly. Too many reasons of a historical, political, economical, juridical and ethical nature speak against this kind of solution. But few people could have foreseen that the consequences of the expulsion in 1945 would, after such a short time, recoil on the Czech nation itself.2


II.

Of all the Western Slav nations the Czechs extend furthest into Central Europe. In the course of historical developments, the Czechs showed great skill and political adaptability in preserving their national substance in the midst of a German population which surrounded them from north, west and south. The manner of their success is very instructive. In 845 - as reported in the Annals of Fulda - 14 leaders of Bohemian tribes were baptized at Regensburg. Thus they got access to the Western sphere, to its religion and its civilization; and from that time on the living connection between Bohemia, Moravia and the Western German neighbour was never sundered. During the reign of Charles the Great, the Czechs became tributaries after a short campaign and in the 10th century the Czech Duke Wenzel, later canonized by the Catholic Church, skilfully improved the constitutional tie with Germany by means of his personal connections. In the following years the Bohemian dukes attained the German electoral dignity and received the royal crown from the German Emperor. In the 14th century the Emperor Charles IV, whose grandmother was a princess of the Bohemian Přemyslid nobility, elected Prague as his residence. On account of the diplomatic and politically skilful attitude of its leaders, the Czech nation avoided the fate of the Elbe Slavs, who lost their national independence in constant fights with the Germans. The close political union with the German neighbour brought the Czechs into cultural and economic as well as religious and ecclesiastical association with the Europe of the time. The part played by the Germans in Bohemia and Moravia was extraordinarily positive. In the capacity of priests and courtiers they worked in the ducal and royal residence at Prague. They built cities, not only in the German colonized border zones but also in the interior of Bohemia. An exception was the Hussite settlement of Tábor. They cultivated land and forests and began mining operations. They brought into the country the juridical systems of the Nuremberg and Magdeburg laws. Their participation in the domain of arts was pre-eminent. The city of Prague with its history and its buildings will remain a permanent symbol of their creative genius. The specific rights of the Germans in Bohemia were confirmed at an early date, as stated in the Charter3 of Duke Sobieslaus II (1173-1178). For a thousand years, the two peoples lived together in rarely interrupted, productive co-operation in the region of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. If we turn over the leaves of the book of history, we shall observe that the periods of peaceful co-operation engendered an efflorescence of culture and economic prosperity. But periods of strife - e.g. the Hussite wars - were attended by a general decline. It was the development of the national spirit in the 19th century that caused the severest rupture between Germans and Czechs since the time of the Hussites. But no solution was found either in 1918 or in 1938; and so the end came in the dreadful tragedy of 1945, to which the following documents relate.

The historical development in the region of Bohemia and Moravia shows the disastrous effects of any ideology or historical interpretation which falsifies the true progress of events in this region. We are referring to the interpretation of history as given by the Czech historian of the 19th century, Palacký, who regarded the struggle between Germans and Czechs as the leitmotif of history in the territory of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, and the Hussite period as the heroic age of the Czech nation. It is true that the most important Czech historian of our century, Josef Pekař, stressed the positive side of Czech-German relations, so signally personified in the symbolic figure of the statesman Duke Wenzel the Saint. But the Czech political leaders since the First World War, Masaryk and Beneš, were deeply rooted in the historical interpretation of Palacký. This nationalistic application of history visibly bears the origin of the tragic development of the most recent chapter in the history of the Czech nation.


III.

To place the events of the year 1945 in their proper perspective, it is necessary to go back to the periods around 1938 and 1918. The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was accomplished by virtue of the principle of self-determination of peoples. But this same right of self-determination was refused to the Germans in Austria-Hungary. The Sudeten German national group in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia was incorporated into the Czechoslovak Republic without being consulted. The German delegates from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, elected by the Austrian Imperial Council (Reichsrat) in 1911, had decided to establish the Austrian provinces "Deutsch-Böhmen" and "Sudetenland" and to put them under the protection of the new Austrian Republic. But these resolutions were not acknowledged by the Peace Conference. The governments of the Länder (headed first by Rafael Pacher and later by Dr. Rudolf Lodgman von Auen in Bohemia and Dr. Robert Freissler in Moravia-Silesia) were expelled by the Czechs. On March 4th, 1919 the Sudeten German population of all political tendencies demonstrated for their right of self-determination at public meetings in different parts of the country. This political declaratory act of the population was forcibly suppressed by the Czech executive, an action in which many Sudeten Germans lost their lives. As soon as the problem of the German minority in Czechoslovakia came before the Paris Peace Conference (St. Germain) in 1919, the Czechoslovak Peace Delegation, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Beneš, defined their point of view on this problem, especially in Memorandum No. 3,4 with the intention of dispersing the apprehensions above all of the British delegates. Dr. Beneš must be considered the principal author of the memoranda.

With psychological insight he realised the situation at the Paris Peace Conference and anticipated in his memoranda all the answers to the questions he might have been asked.5 Memorandum No. 3 contains several crude forgeries of a statistical, economic and historical, as well as a political nature. But above all, Chapter 6 of the aforementioned memorandum is important as describing the future fate of the German minority in the Czechoslovak Republic.6

The collection of maps attached to the memoranda gives a partially false idea of the distribution of population, location of settlements, etc. In this respect the map "Les Allemands de Bohême" was an extraordinarily crude attempt, for the compact German settlements are completely torn asunder by false insertions of Czech settlements and are also arbitrarily diminished in size. Thus the impression was created that there were no considerable compact German regions worth mentioning in Bohemia. Between Leitmeritz and Komotau, for example, the Czech region reaches the frontier of Czechoslovakia, so that Teplitz is situated in the midst of a purely Czech region.7

Skillfully outlined in Chapter 6 of Memorandum No. 3 was a program concerning the annexation of Sudeten German territories, in which the Swiss Republic was presented as the model for the organization and constitution of the new Czechoslovak Republic. The principal subject was even more precisely expressed in a note, which Dr. Beneš submitted to the committee, elaborating the treaty for the protection of minorities. This step was prompted especially by the concerns of British and American authorities who feared a possible violation of the right of self-determination at the expense of the non-Czech parts of Czechoslovakia's population. The aforementioned note of May 20, 1919 stresses the strict intention of the Czechoslovak Government to accept as basis for the organization of the Czech State the Swiss Constitution, that is, to attempt a sort of new Switzerland at the heart of Europe.8 With that idea Dr. Beneš believed he had an effective answer to a possible objection that the right of self-determination was not being applied in the special case of the Sudeten Germans. Dr. Beneš, as the actual historical and political development proves, did not intend for one single moment to carry out in Czechoslovakia the principles applied in the Swiss constitution. Memorandum No. 3 only served for the deception of the Peace Conference of St. Germain. An objective and critical examination will reveal that between 1918 and 1938 the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia had no rights comparable with those existing under the Swiss constitution. On the contrary, the Czech authorities intended from the beginning to create an entirely Czech national state, even though the Czechs - as aforesaid - amounted to only 50% of the entire population. The obligations for the protection of national minorities, signed in the Constitutional Agreement of September 16, 1919, were also not observed. The attempts of the Sudeten Germans to secure observance of the obligations for the protection of minorities by submitting 22 Memoranda to the League of Nations at Geneva were in vain, for none of the 22 Memoranda were discussed in the League of Nations on account of Dr. Beneš' counter-measures. The development of the Czecho-Slovak internal situation shows that the Slovaks, too, were not treated as a national group with equal rights as agreed in the Treaty of Pittsburgh.9

German political parties of the first Czechoslovak Republic, so-called activist, tried to secure fulfilment of the Sudeten German requests and demands for equal rights for many years without any success.

We must take these facts into consideration if we are to judge the whole situation of 1938 in terms of cause and effect. The success of the Henlein Movement was, on the one hand, due to the unfulfilled promise of St. Germain to carry out the principles of the Swiss Constitution in Czechoslovakia, on the other hand to the belief that since 1933 all economic and political difficulties of the Weimar Republic were being solved by Hitler. The elimination of unemployment could not fail to impress the Sudeten Germans who suffered under the general economic depression, which grew more and more noticeable as a result of certain Czech measures in Sudeten German territories. As in these circumstances they had no hope that their legitimate demands would ever be granted without some assistance from outside, and unaware of the true political intentions of Adolf Hitler, they based all their hopes on German help. Hitler's success in foreign affairs could not fail to create the impression that the Great Powers did not disapprove of the developments in Germany. Furthermore it seemed that, in the beginning, the Henlein Movement was judged sympathetically, above all by British authorities. In home politics Henlein was temporarily favoured by some of the Czech parties, e.g. by the Agrarian Party, in the struggle between the Left and the Right, so that the German parties in the Government were often in difficulties. Events in Austria, especially the enthusiasm of the Austrian population on the occasion of the German occupation with its impressive power of mass-suggestion, had considerable effect on the Sudeten Germans. The one group within the "Sudeten German Party" which in the beginning propagated a Sudeten German autonomy in the Czecho-Slovak Republic lost practically its entire influence after the Austrian annexation.10 If, after the First World War, the Czechoslovak Republic had been made a sort of Switzerland with full equality for the different national components and with the intention of creating a true neutrality, the whole political development in the areas of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia would have taken another course. It is evident today that the new Czechoslovak State had the special function of being the Eastern guard against Germany - a function which was planned by the Western Powers, especially by France. But the burden imposed during the years after 1930 grew beyond the new State's control, even within the alliance of the Little Entente. Neutral observers who were in Czechoslovakia in 1938 often portrayed the real situation very clearly. In his report to the British Prime Minister of September 26, 1938, Lord Runciman recapitulated his statements and observations as follows:

"It is a hard thing to be ruled by an alien race; and I have been left with the impression that Czechoslovak rule in the Sudeten areas for the last twenty years, though not actually oppressive and certainly not 'terroristic', has been marked by tactlessness, lack of understanding, petty intolerance and discrimination, to a point where the resentment of the German population was inevitably moving in the direction of revolt. The Sudeten Germans felt, too, that in the past they had been given many promises by the Czechoslovak Government, but that little or no action had followed these promises. This experience had induced an attitude of open mistrust of the leading Czech statesmen. I cannot say how far this mistrust is merited or unmerited; but it certainly exists, with the result that, however conciliatory their statements, they inspire no confidence in the minds of the Sudeten population. Moreover, in the last elections of 1935 the Sudeten German party polled more votes than any other single party; and they actually formed the second largest party in the State Parliament. They then commanded some 44 votes in a total Parliament of 300. With subsequent accessions, they are now the largest party. But they can always be outvoted; and consequently many of them feel that constitutional action is useless for them.

Local irritations were added to these major grievances. Czech officials and Czech police, speaking little or no German, were appointed in large numbers to purely German districts; Czech agricultural colonists were encouraged to settle on land transferred under the Land Reform in the middle of German populations. For the children of these Czech invaders Czech schools were built on a large scale.

There is a very general belief that Czech firms were favoured as against German firms in the allocation of State contracts and that the State provided work and relief for Czechs more readily than for Germans.

I believe these complaints to be in the main justified. Even as late as the time of my Mission, I could find no readiness on the part of the Czechoslovak Government to remedy them on anything like an adequate scale.

All these, and other, grievances were intensified by the effects of the economic crisis on the Sudeten industries, which form so important a part of the life of the people. Not unnaturally, the Government was blamed for the resulting impoverishment...

This brings me to the political side of the problem, which is concerned with the integrity and security of the Czechoslovak Republic, especially in relation to her immediate neighbours. I believe that here the problem is one of removing a centre of intense political friction from the middle of Europe. For this purpose it is necessary permanently to provide that the Czechoslovak State should live at peace with all her neighbours and that her policy, internal and external, should be directed to that end. Just as it is essential for the international position of Switzerland that her policy should be essentially neutral, so an analogous policy is necessary for Czechoslovakia - not only for her own future existence but for the peace of Europe."

In this last statement of his, Lord Runciman touches one of the fundamental problems, namely the possible existence of small national states in the heart of Europe. We shall briefly return to this problem later on.

From the Czech side the Sudeten Germans were collectively accused of having revolted against the State in September 1938, thereby threatening its security. A witness who certainly is no sympathizer of the Sudeten Germans, the Czech ex-Minister Dr. Hubert Ripka, testifies, in his account of events relating to the Munich Pact, that this accusation is untrue.

He states that Henlein's call to resistance against the supreme power was in no case obeyed by the majority of the Sudeten German population.11 This fact is the more noteworthy because a strong police-terror was exercised towards the entire Sudeten German group. This terror showed itself in the internment of numerous hostages. In the opinion of Ripka, the main fault of the Czech Government was that it did not try to come to an agreement with the Sudeten German population instead of with Henlein.12

This might well have been possible, as Ripka averred, if since 1918 the Czechs had pursued a different policy towards the Sudeten Germans, that is if the latter had been treated as members of a federation like the Swiss, as equal amongst equals. But Ripka as well as Beneš avoided the problem of granting the right of self-determination to the Sudeten Germans. Like Beneš in the Memoranda of the Paris Peace Conference, he conferred this right upon the Czechs, but denied it to the Germans, and for reasons which are in no case clear.13

That the Sudeten Germans were merely used as a counter in the European game of politics in 1938 was expressly stated by the subsequent Prime Minster of Great Britain, Clement Attlee, in his speech in the House of Commons on October 3rd, 1938.14

The Munich Pact, however, should have made it clear to the Czechs that they, as well as the Sudeten Germans, were only a "counter in the game of politics" of the Great Powers, that they would have no importance as long as they were not united with the rest of the nations of Central Europe in a greater, federative union. The attempt to assimilate the Sudeten Germans was frustrated. Instead of letting the past decades be a warning and an experience, Dr. Beneš, with the assistance of his collaborators in exile, planned a solution of the Sudeten German problem which, after 1945, became a reality. This plan aggravated existing problems to an exorbitant extent, for it was a plan (rejected by Adolf Hitler for the Czech nation!) for the forcible dispossession and transfer of a whole nation in the heart of Central Europe.15


IV.

The expulsion of the Sudeten Germans was not the spontaneous reaction of the Czech nation to the German occupation of Czech territories from 1939 to 1945. The plan for an expulsion was carefully prepared by the Czech politicians in exile. Until the revolution of February 1948, there was a passionate dispute in the camp of the "National Front" at Prague regarding the priority of the idea of expelling the Sudeten Germans. The Czech Communist party-newspaper Rudé Právo maintained in February 1946 that the plan was first proposed on the occasion of the ratification of the Czechoslovako-Soviet Pact at Moscow, December 1943.16

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in those days, Ivo Ducháček, delegate of the "Katholische Volkspartei" (Catholic National Liberal Party), who fled to the West after the February Revolution in 1948, protested against this statement in March 1946 in a parliamentary debate. Ducháček declared: "When in the summer of 1942 the question of transferring the German population reached the stage of private conversation with our three principal allies, Dr. Ripka took advantage of the fact that England and France had already rejected the Munich Pact, and made a public speech in October 1942.17 Thereafter the question of our German population was more openly discussed from month to month in London. At the end of 1943 all members of the National Front were in agreement. The transfer of the German population was, therefore, the result of the combined efforts of all members and all parties belonging to the National Front. It is a falsification of history when the Communists maintain that the transfer of the Sudeten German population was their work. In a commentary it was pointed out that this transfer was already being discussed in 1939 in the circle around Dr. Ripka whose closest co-operator was Dr. Ducháček. As Dr. Beneš formulated the basic problems of the Czech exile-police exclusively according to his own conception, it can be assumed with certainty that the decisive and final initiator of the transfer idea was Dr. Beneš himself.

There had been rumours in New York since 1941 about a general "Beneš Plan", which was credited with the purpose of solving the problem of minorities by transferring them. These rumours were instigated by two articles by Dr. Beneš in leading periodicals devoted to political and foreign affairs, in which Dr. Beneš propagated the idea of transfer as a means of solving the problem of minorities.18 As these articles did not state clearly whether the measures planned concerned the Sudeten Germans only, or whether they also applied to non-Czech minorities in the special case of Czechoslovakia, the Director of the Yiddish Scientific Institute in New York applied for particulars to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Government in exile, Jan Masaryk, in order to clarify the position of the Jewish minority in Czechoslovakia.19 In the written answer of Jan Masark it is expressly stated that the transfer of populations refers only to the Sudeten Germans.20

Actually, the Jews who claimed the German language as their native tongue in the census of 1930 were in no case treated as Jan Masaryk, with the express approval of Dr. Beneš, had guaranteed. Many of the Jews who had survived the German concentration camps or had returned to Czechoslovakia from exile were not given back their former property. Thus they were forced to emigrate, seeing that Czechoslovakia offered them no living.21

The question of transferring the Sudeten Germans was one of the decisive reasons in 1942 which induced the Sudeten German Social Democrats associated with the deputy Wenzel Jaksch to distance themselves from Dr. Beneš (Jaksch went into exile in 1938 and originally tried to achieve constructive co-operation with the Czech Government in London with regard to all Czech and Sudeten German problems). In a letter of June 22, 1942 which he addressed to Dr. Beneš at London, Jaksch said: "The absolute negative attitude towards an agreement, even about temporary political and economic arrangements, deprives our policy of mutual understanding of any basis. The program concerning the transfer of populations is beyond the principle of constitutional continuity, in the name of which the loyalty of the democratic Sudeten Germans abroad was claimed by the Czechoslovak Government."22

The consent to a transfer or rather expulsion of the Sudeten Germans was not to be obtained from the Great Powers without certain difficulties. But Dr. Beneš showed himself not very particular about the means he used. In a conference with President Roosevelt on May 12, 1943 he mentioned that the Russians would agree to the "transfer of the Sudeten Germans". 17 days later, May 29, Dr. Ripka explained to the Soviet Ambassador Bogomolow in London that the Americans had already agreed to the transfer and that in these circumstances the Czech Government in exile expected the official Russian consent. On June 6, Dr. Ripka telephoned Dr. Beneš, who was in the United States, that the Russian consent had just arrived - the same consent with which Dr. Beneš had operated in his conversation with President Roosevelt on May 12.23

Thus it is made clear that Dr. Beneš was, in the background, one of the initiators of the resolutions of Yalta and Potsdam which dealt with the expulsion of the East Germans.

Since the Munich Pact in September 1938, Beneš felt himself betrayed by the Western Powers. He had to show gratitude for the asylum allowed to him after 1938, but it was intolerable to his ambitious nature that his own construction of Czechoslovakia in 1918 did not take precedence over all other interests. The full recognition of the Czech Government in exile and the juridical continuity of the pre-Munich Czechoslovak state was, in consideration of the obvious legal difficulties, granted by the Western Powers comparatively late and only under the influence of Russia's declaration of war.24

After Russia's military successes (Stalingrad), in the absence of a second front in 1943 and under the impression of the strengthened pressure of Moscow upon the Poles in London, Dr. Beneš decided at the end of 1943 to go to Moscow in order not to lose touch with the Czech Communists, and he did so to demonstrate to the Western Powers, especially England, his political independence. He made his trip against the advice of the British Government.25

By this trip and by the Soviet-Czechoslovak alliance the further fate of Czechoslovakia was determined. In May 1935, by his first treaty with the Soviet Union, Beneš had proved his intention of binding Czechoslovakia's future closely to Moscow. Returning to London at the beginning of 1944, he expressed his opinion about the future position of the Soviet Union in Europe with great optimism on the occasion of a banquet given in his honour. The subsequent events proved that he was wrong in this respect.26 To what extent his judgement was influenced by his wounded vanity may be seen from his fourth message to the Czechoslovak Council of State.27

Beneš probably had the covert intention of acting as mediator between East and West, relying on his talent for handling difficult conflicts, a talent he had so conspicuously shown in the League of Nations. He by far overestimated his importance.28

Today many Czechs are aware that the political development of Czechoslovakia since 1945, especially since the revolution of February 1948, has a certain connection with the expulsion of the Germans (which played an important role in all of Dr. Beneš' deliberations.)29


V.

The realization of the plan, directed against the very existence of the Sudeten Germans, was only effected by the occupation of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia by the Allies. During the war the Czech population neither offered any considerable resistance nor practised any effective sabotage against the German war-industry. The Czechs were exempted from military service. The food was not worse, perhaps even better than in Germany. As a result of the transfer of numerous armament factories and other industries and the establishment of vast depots, Bohemia and Moravia became a sort of store-room for Hitler's war industry. The yield required of these industries as well as of agriculture was, in general, not inferior to the German yield. As in Germany, the Gestapo in Bohemia and Moravia interned the obvious opponents of the Hitler regime in German concentration camps. A part of the Czechs were called up for service in the German war industries. No active resistance to the German armies of occupation, as in Poland, was ever observed, not even in the last weeks of war. The attempt on Heydrich's life was planned and organized from abroad. The bloody retaliatory measures for this attempt however, especially the destruction of the village of Lidice and of all its male inhabitants, did raise the Czech spirit of resistance to a certain extent. These events of course were highly welcome to the Czech propaganda in London. The facts that the Sudeten Germans, as a national group, had no share in the happenings, and that only a small group of National Socialist leaders could be responsible for the retaliatory measures for the attempt on Heydrich's life, were concealed; and as in 1938, the Germans were represented as collectively guilty.

At the end of the war, when during the battles against the remnants of Schörner's army the Sudeten German territories were occupied by Russian and American troops, the same scenes were witnessed as in the German regions. The majority of the Sudeten Germans was ignorant of the postwar intentions of Dr. Beneš and his collaborators in exile. In some places the people hoped that calm would ensue when Czech authorities had taken over the regular police forces and administration. For the Sudeten Germans it was a terrible awakening out of their illusions when the first truckloads of revolutionary guardsmen, mostly dressed in German uniforms and equipped with German weapons, arrived in Sudeten German areas from Inner Bohemia. Until that moment local Czech residents, or Czechs formerly in Sudeten German territories and now returned, manifested a comparatively reasonable attitude. In the beginning German anti-fascists were even represented in the local National Committees. But the groups organized and directed by Czech central offices perpetrated a dreadful abundance of murders, atrocities, abuses, rapes, robberies and thefts, as may be seen from the following reports. At some spots, e.g. at Saaz, Brüx, Aussig, Landskron etc, mass executions and massacres were carried out. At Prague these massacres started immediately after the street-fighting on May 5th. But a clear distinction between the conservative middle class and an extreme nationalistic group which worked hand in hand with the Communists was evident. The inflammatory incitements of Radio Prague, which was soon in Czech hands, spread a downright demonic, bloodthirsty mass hysteria through the city and precipitated deeds of horror surpassing those of the Hussite war.30 Incidents similar to those in Prague took place at different other towns of inner Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia. At times the atrocities were such that the Russian authorities ordered the Czechs to stop. Under the impact of these mass cruelties, there were epidemics of suicides in Sudeten-Germany, especially among the elderly German population.


VI.

The psychological root of the Czech attitude after May 1945 will be found in the extreme nationalistic conception already referred to, a conception which had been inculcated into the Czech nation for decades with an admixture of Panslav historical ideology. The Czech nationalism was systematically fostered from abroad during the war. Furthermore the German authorities paid little attention to the positive characteristics of the Czech nation during the period of the "Protectorate" Bohemia and Moravia, but wantonly provoked the negative characteristics. In any case, a long occupation was bound to cause resentment. Instead of letting the first wave of resentment decline, the Czech Government, following a carefully prepared scheme, furthered this resentment from the first days of May onwards and encouraged the lowest instinct of some classes of the Czech nation by public incitements to violence and robbery. The same Government, moreover, tried to give the proceedings the guise of legality by the notorious presidential decrees of Dr. Beneš.

The expulsion of considerable portions of the Sudeten German population started long before it was sanctioned by the Potsdam Agreement on August 2nd, 1945. That the expulsion which took place before the resolutions of Potsdam was a centrally directed action may be deduced from the fact that the expulsion orders were issued as public proclamations by the local and district National Committees. The methods were alike in different places, which shows that this important measure was organized in agreement with the central government.31 These first waves of expulsions were attended by terrible mass cruelties which caused the death of tens of thousands of Sudeten Germans. Among the first victims were chiefly old people, invalids and children. On of the most horrible so-called "Marches of Death" was the march of the expelled Germans of Brünn via Pohrlitz to the Czechoslovak border in the direction of Vienna. In a very short time, sometimes on as little as 10 minutes' notice, the expelled persons had to leave their apartments. They were only allowed to take the most necessary clothes, and were deprived of the best of these during the march and on the border. During the march renewed deeds of robbery and violence were perpetrated. Certain measures that were made to seem those of the local police, but in reality centrally planned and directed, made the situation of the Sudeten Germans intolerable. Even before President Beneš' announcement of the Decrees, the Sudeten Germans were practically outlawed. Their apartments, if they were still in their possession, were open for plundering either on the occasion of officially organized domiciliary visits or by Czech "gold diggers" who entered Sudeten German areas from inner Bohemia and Moravia. Under the pretext of raids for weapons or political persons the RG (Revolučni Garda), the police (SBN - Sbor Národní Bezpečnosti) and soldiers, or mere groups of Czech plunderers broke into the apartments and houses, maltreated the inhabitants and took what they wanted. In some places orders were issued that the apartments and houses of the Germans must not be locked. Some orders reduced the lives of the Germans to pure misery. They were only allowed to be on the streets at certain times (curfew), they had to wear white badges as distinguishing mark, they were not permitted to use any public means of transportation (trains, buses, streetcars) or to leave or change their residences. They were forbidden to walk on the sidewalks. They were not allowed to write letters to one another or to visit restaurants, cinemas or theatres. They could only buy at groceries and stores during certain hours of the day. They were forbidden to dispose of their own assets or of any kind of property. Gold, silver, jewelry and other valuables, radios, cameras and optical instruments had to be surrendered. Special ration cards for Germans were issued, without coupons for meat, eggs, milk, cheese and fruit.32 All German schools and kindergartens were closed. A general labour conscription for Germans was proclaimed; in some places the population capable of work was called together in certain squares by public announcement. Afterwards the assembled people were transported to inner Bohemia as labour slaves on farms, in the mines or in industry. For non-observance of these orders they were threatened with Comment the death penalty.33 In the beginning, all work had to be done without payment. Later on, low wages were fixed for the German slaves, but as a rule these wages were never paid. Billets and food during the labour conscription in inner Bohemia were often entirely insufficient. There was no sort of social welfare work or insurance for these "free" workers.

One of the first administrative regulations of the Czech Home Office was the establishment of concentration camps for Germans. In many ways they were planned on the model of German concentration camps, judging by the reports of internees who were imprisoned in German as well as in Czech camps. In many cases the food supply and other conditions were considerably worse in these Czech concentration camps, established after the end of the war, than at Dachau or Buchenwald. All imaginable bestialities were committed on the Germans. Even though the treatment of internees frequently depended on the personality of the camp commander, the methods in the different camps were the same. Not only the local, but also the central administrative and governmental circles right up to the President, Dr. Beneš, were well informed about the conditions in the camps. The Czech population, to a large extent, approved of the proceedings in the camps. The name concentration camp (Koncentrační tábor) was mostly changed into internment camp (Internační tábor) or collecting camp (Shromážd'ovací středisko) after a time, but the conditions still remained essentially the same. The inmates of the camps were called up to work like slaves and they were inhumanly tortured and maltreated in the camps and during their work. At night women and girls were frequently handed over to the army of occupation for raping. In the beginning these camps lacked all sanitary arrangements, the barracks swarmed with vermin and the food was less than in German concentration camps. In these camps the majority of Sudeten Germans was driven together and confined, often without any reason, merely because they were Germans or because a Czech wanted to take possession of the house, the dwelling or the factory of a certain German. A very clear report on the conditions of the camps was given by the British member of Parliament, R. R. Stokes, in his article of October 1945 to the Manchester Guardian.34 At that time - according to the statements of Stokes - there were 51 such camps in Czechoslovakia. Stokes describes the way in which the labour slaves were selected and transported each morning at camp Hagibor near Prague; from their description of their diet he found that the amount of calories was less than that of the German concentration camp at Belsen. Even worse than in the various camps were the conditions in the prisons, where besides inhuman ferocities and tortures the prisoners - on account of catastrophically overcrowded cells - had no chance to move around or be in the fresh air, so that contagious diseases and all kinds of sicknesses increased the death rate. A considerable number of inmates also died in consequence of the wholly insufficient rations.


VII.

Only few things were changed after the ratification of the Potsdam Agreement on August 2, 1945, which in article 13 sanctioned the transfer of the German population from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, strictly ordering "that all transfers should take place in an orderly and humane way."35 The only result of the Potsdam Agreement was that the Czech Government and the Czech population which participated in the outrages and plunderings of Sudeten Germans acquired the feeling that all these occurrences had a certain international legality. That the ways in which the expulsions were carried out were unaffected by the demand of Potsdam for an orderly and humane fulfilment of the transfer, is made clear by the following reports. The international jurist Hermann Raschhofer rightly deduces from the text of paragraph 13 the duty of the Signatory Powers to see that the terms of the Agreement were being observed.36 Unfortunately the Signatory Powers did not take the necessary precautions to ensure that the transfer was carried out in the prescribed manner.

The world public scarcely noticed what was going on in the Sudetenland in 1945. At most, some friends of the Czechs-in-exile who still remained in the propaganda organs of the Western nations would comment on these mass crimes from the cynical perspective that "the victim, not the murderer, is to blame". The Czechs themselves either kept the massacres secret or attempted to interweave European interests and necessities with the problem of the expulsions. For example, the former Minister for Export Trade, Dr. Ripka, who is now living in exile, declared on August 20, 1945 over Radio Prague: "...but this necessity (for expulsion) is not only in the interest of all Europe, it is one of the basic acts for the protection of a European peace. It goes without saying that we shall solve the problem in a humane way, as becomes a nation with an old humane tradition, a nation with the humanitarian ideal of Masaryk. And only in this way shall the problem be solved."37 These statements are similar to those which Dr. Beneš once used at a lecture at Manchester University on December 5, 1942.38 But how starkly the real expulsion, so full of cruelties, contrasts with the propaganda speeches of these two spiritual originators of the transfer! In order to give the mode of procedure against the Sudeten Germans the guise of legality, Dr. Beneš issued several decrees which show very distinctly how systematically the extermination of a nation (Genocide) was planned and carried out on the Sudeten German national group.39 In view of these decrees, the expulsions cannot be explained as the spontaneous reaction of the Czech nation against German oppression. Even in the so-called Kaschau Programme of April 5, 1945, in Chapter VIII and IX, the aims of Dr. Beneš' plan are absolutely clear.40 In further decrees the Sudeten German national group was deprived of citizenship as well as of all civil rights and was declared hostile to the State. By the Decree of Presdent Beneš of May 19, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No. 5), all persons of German or Hungarian nationality were declared politically unreliable. The entire property of these politically unreliable persons was placed under the supervision of a national administration. The national trustees were thereby given the position of public authorities according to the terms of the penal code.41 By the Decree of June 21st, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No. 12) the confiscation and accelerated partitioning of agricultural properties belonging to persons of German nationality, irrespective of their citizenship, was ordered.42 The Decree of June 19, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No. 16) demands the punishment of "exorbitant crimes on Czechoslovakia of which the Nazis and their perfidious accomplices have been found guilty".43 The Constitutional Decree of the President of August 2, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No. 33) regulates the Czechoslovak citizenship of persons of German and Hungarian nationality.44 The decree ordains that citizens of German nationality who, under German law, had acquired German citizenship, have lost their Czechoslovak citizenship. All other Germans, however, also lose Czechoslovak citizenship on the date of the decree's coming into force. The decree does not pertain to "those Germans who claimed to be Czechs or Slovaks in times of increased danger to the Republic".

According to this decree Czechoslovak citizenship will be kept by those Germans who are able to prove "that they have been true to the Czechoslovak Republic, that they have never offended against the Czech or Slovak people and either actively participated in the fight for liberation or suffered under the National Socialist or Fascist terror."

A further decree of October 25, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No.108)45 enacts the confiscation without compensation of personal and real property and of property rights on behalf of the Czechoslovak Republic of the following property-holders:
1.) the German Reich, persons in public law, the German Nazi party and other organizations, formations, undertakings, installations, corporations, funds and property designated for special purposes; and
2) persons of German nationality.46

These decrees as well as article 13 of the Potsdam Agreement conflict with the principles of internatioinal law. They represent a complete neglect of human rights, the principles of the Atlantic Charter47 and the Charter of the United Nations. President Beneš issued these decrees in his capacity as President of the State on the motion of a provisional government, without authority under the Constitution.

The inadequacy of the decrees in relation to international and constitutional law is particularly evident in the Decree of August 2, 1945 (Compilation of Statutes and Enactments No. 33). As a result of the Munich Agreement of September 29, 1938 between Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, the Sudeten German areas were transferred to Germany and the Sudeten Germans became German citizens. The Czechoslovak Government, with Dr. Beneš as President, held a meeting on September 30, 1938, at which the Munich Agreement was accepted. The official report says: "After careful consideration and examination of all recommendations, submitted to the Government, and fully aware of its historical responsibility, the Czechoslovak Government, in agreement with the responsible elements of the political parties, has decided to accept the Munich resolutions of the four great Powers. It has done so in the conviction that the nation must be saved and that there is no other decision possible at this time."48 During the war the Agreement was declared as not binding upon Great Britain since Germany had already violated it. In spite of this declaration, the conditions juridically established by the Agreement endured till 1945. A revision would have pertained to a treaty of peace with Germany.49 But even considering the legally and constitutionally refutable thesis of the juridical continuity of the Czechoslovak state, the decrees against the Sudeten German population would still be disputable because they contradict the principles of the Czechoslovak constitution as well as the treaty for the protection of minorities to which Czechoslovakia had agreed.50

The expulsion of the Sudeten Germans and the methods applied unquestionably show the characteristics of national extermination or Genocide. The General Assembly of the United Nations declared in its Resolution, dated December 11, 1946, that Genocide is a crime under international law, a crime contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world. In 1950 the United Nations accepted a Convention on Genocide.51 According to the Convention, Genocide means any of the following acts, committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group:

a) killing members of the group;
b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


VIII.

In consideration of a possible peaceful co-existence of all the nations in Central Europe it seems necessary to stress the fact that the reasons for the developments of these last years are much more profound than is apparent in most of the daily political polemics. It is clear that the question of culpability is a matter of importance. After 1945 the Czechs operated with a slogan only too readily accepted by the rest of the world: Hitler originated the policy of inhumanity. On the basis of this claim, and with a daring leap of logic, the collective guilt not only of the German nation but also of the Sudeten Germans as a whole was constructed. Thus, for example, the Sudeten Germans were credited with a share of the guilt for the excesses perpetrated in the concentration camps. In the meantime pertinent objections have been expressed by neutrals as well as by former enemies against the assumption of collective guilt. But that the German people were also the first to suffer under Hitler may be proved by the list of the inmates of German concentration camps. The Sudeten Germans were ill informed as to the true political structure of the Third Reich and its methods. The allegation that the Sudeten Germans were among those collectively responsible for the concentration camps cannot be sustained.52 There have been signs of a bad conscience on the part of those who are guilty, in whole or in part, for the events of 1945/1946, not only in Czechoslovakia itself but even to some extent among those emigrants who in 1945, directly or indirectly, participated in the cruelties when they held positions of authority in the Government, parliament or in the administration and who, after the revolt of February 1948, went into western exile.53

As far as the treatment of the other national group is concerned, the events of 1945 in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia stand in strong contrast to the events of 1938, for no cruelties were committed on the Czech population after the Munich Agreement, except for some insignificant incidents. To sum up, a general survey of the events of 1945 reveals two aspects:

1. the systematic preparation of the measures and of the cruelties perpetrated, and
2. the extensive participation of the Czech population in these misdeeds.

Both aspects will become clear after reading the following reports. Nevertheless no collective guilt of the Czech nation can be deduced from them; for in the last analysis a certain group is alone responsible for the planning and organization of these acts. Besides, there were Czechs who, conscious of the criminal character of the measures taken, did what they could to help the Sudeten Germans.54 The demand for punishment of the real culprits is in the interest of the Czech nation itself and is a condition of German-Czech co-existence and understanding in the general framework of a future European new order. The agreement between the "Association for the Protection of Sudeten German Interests" and the Czech National Committee was signed in London on August 4, 1950.55 In this agreement the Sudetenland is recognized as the homeland of the Sudeten Germans who are regarded as entitled to compensation for injuries done to them. Both parties agreed to uphold democratic principles and - a particularly important point - both parties reject the imputation of collective guilt. Both parties express the will to place the co-existence of the two peoples, the Sudeten Germans and the Czechs, on a new foundation within the framework of a new European order in the spirit of President Wilson's right of self-determination, as laid down in his Fourteen Points. But the great importance of the agreement consists in the opportunity of carrying into effect an ethical idea, namely to overcome hatred and revenge. In this sense the agreement, as a starting point for further developments in Central as well as Eastern Europe, may attain an importance transcending the problem of Sudeten Germans and Czechs.

The course of events in Central Europe since 1918 has certainly proven that the foundation of small national states, constituted according to a belated nationalism, represents no satisfactory solution. By actions like the expulsion, nationalism itself disproved its right to exist.56 Such an alliance as, for example, the "Little Entente" also proved itself unproductive. The tragedy of the small nations in Central Europe is evident today. This tragedy cannot be removed until the nations are willing to become part of a new European order. In the special case of the Czech nation such an order cannot be achieved without a constructive solution of the German-Czech question. The assimilation of the Sudeten Germans failed, and as the expulsion did not lead to pacification, new ways have to be found.


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Notes

1cf. Eugen Lemberg: Geschichte des Nationalismus in Europa (History of Nationalism in Europe), Stuttgart 1950. ...back...

2cf. Democratia militans, No. 1 p. 65ff. H. Hájek: "Aussiedlung und Putsch" (Transfer and Riot). ...back...

3Amongst other things it said: "I am taking the Germans, living at the borough of Prague, under my protection and favour and it is my wish that they, being nationally different from the Czechs, be also separated from them by their rights and customs. I therefore grant the Germans that they may live according to their German law and rights, of which they have been in possession since the days of my grandfather, King Vratislaw (1071-1092) (vivere secundum legem et justitiam Theutonicorum)." ...back...

4cf.: Die tschechoslowakischen Denkschriften für die Friedenskonferenz von Paris ("Czechoslovak Memoranda for the Paris Peace Conference"), edited by Dr. Dr. Hermann Raschhofer, Berlin 1937. ...back...

5cf.: Edvard Benes: Revolt of the Nations (German translation Der Aufstand der Nationen by Camill Hoffmann, Berlin 1928), pp. 687/8: "Since I was acquainted with the perils of our situation and did not know which kind of material the Peace Delegation, constituted at Prague, would take to Paris, I started all alone with the preparations for the Peace Conference. I did not want to be surprised by sudden decisions of the Great Powers. Masaryk also asked me in his letters from time to time in the course of 1918 to make preparations for the Conference. I therefore wrote down in the shortest possible time, almost improvising and without support or literature, most of the memoranda, in which I included all our peace conditions. When our Peace Delegation arrived, I submitted them for approbation. Some of the memoranda were supplemented by members of the Delegation, some corrected. When the Peace Conference unexpectedly requested the national Delegations to put their demands in writing, I submitted almost everything that was required right on the next day. This readiness was profitable to the solution of our problems in the different committees of the Conference." ...back...

6See Appendix No. 1. ...back...

7S. Appendix No. 2. Compare Appendix No. 3 for the true course of the linguistic borders. ...back...

8The note is printed in: David Hunter Miller, My Diary, at the Conference of Paris, vol. 13 (1925) p. 96: "It is the intention of the Czecho-Slovak government to create the organisation of the State by accepting as a basis of national rights the principles applied in the constitution of the Swiss Republic, that is, to make of the Czecho-Slovak Republic a sort of Switzerland, taking into consideration, of course, the special conditions in Bohemia." ...back...

9This treaty was signed on June 30, 1918 between Masaryk and the American Slovaks at Pittsburgh, USA. In it the Slovaks were granted full autonomy in the Czechoslovak Republic, first, in order to secure the co-operation of the Slovaks in the new State and second, to get President Wilson's agreement for a solution in the Czechoslovak way. Later on Masaryk denied this treaty completely. ...back...

10Walter Brand, Die sudetendeutsche Tragödie (The Sudeten-German Tragedy), Lauf bei Nürnberg, 1949. ...back...

11cf.: Hubert Ripka, Munich Before and After, 1939. ...back...

12Hubert Ripka, op.cit.: "Our capital mistake, in my opinion, was in not attempting to come to terms with the Sudeten German people rather than with Henlein." ...back...

13See: War and Peace Aims of the UN, Boston, 1945, vol. I, p. 438. ...back...

14Clement Attlee declared verbatim: "I say that the question of the Sudeten Germans has been used as a counter in the game of politics, and in other conditions, Herr Hitler might just as well have used the people of South Denmark, the people of Trentino or the Germans of South Tyrol." ...back...

15The Prager newspaper Právo Lidu reports in its edition of September 3, 1947 about an information which was given by the American Deputy Public Prosecutor, Robert Kempner, in connection with this problem at a press conference in Prague. According to a document, at disposal to the Nuremberg Court, three experiments for a solution of the Czech problem were proposed by Adolf Hitler. 1. autonomy, 2. transfer of the Czech population, 3. attempt at assimilation. Hitler was in favour of the third possibility and rejected at the same time all other suggestions for a solution. ...back...

16Note from Rudé Právo of February 1946: "...the idea of transferring the Germans rose in the minds of our politicians at Moscow. When President Benes arrived at Moscow in 1943 in order to sign the Czechoslovako-Soviet Pact, Comrade Gottwald started the question concerning the transfer of Germans from our Republic for the first time. Comrade Stalin personally agreed to this proposal. Stalin also used his influence on the assertion of these claims at the Allied Powers' Conference." ...back...

17See note 13. ...back...

18"The New Order in Europe", The Nineteenth Century and After, September 1941, No. 774; "The Organization of Postwar Europe", Foreign Affairs, vol. 20 No. 2 (Jan. 1942), pp. 226-242. ...back...

19See: Mark Vishniak, The Transfer of Populations as a Means of Solving the Problem of Minorities, Yiddish Scientific Institute, New York, 1942. The author of this excellently written book suggests as a possible solution for the problem of minorities the protection of national minorities by international statutes of a global organization. Vishniak quotes parts of President Wilson's speech on February 11, 1918, wherein he attacked the habit of considering nations merely as chess pawns in the political game. On this occasion, the President demanded that every territorial settlement must be carried out with consideration for the interests of the population concerned. The President then said verbatim: "Peoples and provinces must not be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels or pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power... Every territorial settlement... must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the population concerned, and not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival states." ...back...

20See Appendix No. 4. ...back...

21See reports 84, 167, 187, 282and 291. ...back...

22Wenzel Jaksch, Benesch war gewarnt (Benes was warned), Munich 1949. ...back...

23Edvard Benes, Paméeti, Prague 1947. ...back...

24cf.: Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart, The Czechoslovak Revolution, Foreign Affairs, 1948, p. 633. "Dr. Benes was grateful, but not wholly satisfied. He wanted full recognition of the juridical continuity of the Czechoslovak state in the form in which it existed before Munich. In spite of the obvious legal difficulties it was granted." ...back...

25Lockhart, op.cit., p. 633: "In December 1943 against the advice of the British Government he (Benes) went to Moscow." ...back...

26See: War and Peace Aims of the U.N., Boston 1945, vol. II, p. 1030. ...back...

27See: War and Peace Aims of the U.N., Boston 1945, vol. II, p. 1024. ...back...

28See: Ferdinand Peroutka, Byl Benes vinen? [Was Benes Guilty?], Paris 1950: "...He was of the opinion that he might lead some sort of clearing-office of Western and Eastern ideas. He wanted to build a bridge across which everybody would go with delight - and on the first pillar of this bridge his name would be engraved." (Translated from the Czech.) ...back...

29See Note 2. ...back...

30See: Jürgen Thorwald, Das Ende an der Elbe (Finale on the Elbe River), Stuttgart 1950, pp. 300ff., and Dr. Emil Franzel, "Prag im Mai 1945" (Prague in May 1945), Die Welt, Hamburg 1950, No. 103-105. ...back...

31See Appendix No. 5. ...back...

32See Appendix No. 6. ...back...

33See Appendix No. 7. ...back...

34See Appendix No. 8. ...back...

35Wording of Article XIII of the Potsdam Agreement is as follows: "Orderly Transfers of German Populations. The conference reached the following agreement on the removal of Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary: The three Governments having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner." ...back...

36Hermann Raschhofer, Vom Minderheitenrecht zum Unrecht der Vertreibung. Christ Unterwegs (From Justice to Minorities to the Injustice of Expulsions. Christ on the Road), Munich, 4th yr., No. 11, p. 9: "The Signatory Powers were obliged to take care of the transaction of transfer, which should be undertaken under certain conditions, and to control the States mentioned in the Agreement." ...back...

37See: War and Peace Aims of the U.N., Boston 1945, vol. II, p. 1048. ...back...

38See: War and Peace Aims of the U.N., Boston 1945, vol. I; Eduard Benes: Lecture at Manchester University, December 1942. ...back...

39See: Definition of Genocide by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 13, 1946. "Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings; such denial of the right of existence shocks the conscience of mankind, results in great losses to humanity in the form of cultural and other contributions represented by these human groups, and is contrary to moral law and to the spirit and aims of the United Nations. Many instances of such crimes of genocide have occurred when racial, religious, political or other groups have been destroyed, entirely or in part. The punishment of the crime of genocide is a matter of international concern...." ...back...

40See Appendix No. 9. ...back...

41See Appendix No. 10. ...back...

42S. Appendix No. 11. ...back...

43See Appendix No. 12. ...back...

44See Appendix No. 13 and, for sake of comparison, Appendix No. 14. ...back...

45See Appendix No. 15. ...back...

46See Appendix No. 16, in which a summary of the national property of the Germans of the Czechoslovak Republic is given. ...back...

47See Appendix No. 17. ...back...

48Dokumente der deutschen Politik (Documents on German Policy), vol. 6, I, p. 362 (Berlin, 1939). ...back...

49See: Dr. Rudolf Lodgman von Auen, Die völkerrechtliche Grundlage des Sudetenproblems und die politische Entwicklung seit 1945 (The International Basis of the Sudeten Problem and the Political Development Since 1945), Sinsheim 1948, pp. 6ff. ...back...

50See: "A Petition to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Foreign Secretaries of the Signatory Powers of the Potsdam Agreement from the Parliamentary Delegation of Sudeten Labour in Great Britain", written by Wenzel Jaksch, London 1947, pp. 24ff. It is also indicated there that the special privileges granted to the German anti-fascists in the decrees were not observed in the majority of cases ...back...

51See Appendix No. 18. ...back...

52Isn't it rather more as the brochure Tragedy of a People (Racialism in Czecho-Slovakia), published by prominent American authorities in New York in 1946, states, namely, that the barbarous nature of the expulsion even exceeds Hitler's racist excesses? ...back...

53See: Ivo Duchácek, "Communist Infiltration", World Politics 1950, p. 346: "When in 1945 the Sudeten German minority was transferred into the American and Russian zone of Germany, the Czechs - in spite of Germany's total defeat - were more and more afraid of a possible Sudeten German demand for revision, which might bring new fear and insecurity. The fact that some Czechs had taken possession of formerly Sudeten German property in a rather unusual way augmented national anxiety by an economic motive." ...back...

54See: Dokumente der Menschlichkeit (Documents of Humanity), edited by the "Göttinger Arbeitskreis", Klitzingen/Main, 1950. ...back...

55See Appendix No. 19. ...back...

56See: Lemberg op.cit., p. 243: "...therefore this fourth stage of attempts to solve the European problems of nationalities reminds one of similar attempts during the period of religious wars. After various cautious attempts there also seemed to be no other way out of the difficulties but the expulsion of those groups which were not of their rulers' religious denominations. As these forcible solutions represented a climax as well as a crisis of the religious concord, so today's inhuman expulsions and massacres of national and racial groups cast a strong and grotesque light upon the crisis of European nationalism, this fundamentally so fertile and productive movement, which may, by such events, be driven to extremity and hence be converted into its own opposite." ...back...


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Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans
Survivors speak out